Ultrasound wave treatments given to mice with Alzheimer’s disease resulted in better performance on memory tests and less of the amyloid braid plaque that is typical of Alzheimer’s patients. Though studies in mice are tough to replicate in humans, it does give cause for hope, especially since drugs now in trial have not been successful in improving cognition.
What is new here is that the ultrasound seems to temporarily open up the blood-brain barrier, not easily penetrated, allowing the protein albumin in to boost the work of the microglia cells that remove toxins from the brain. They can eat up the amyloid proteins that form the plaques on the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
If successful, this has the potential to be much less expensive than many drugs on the market. At the moment, drugs used in treating Alzheimer’s disease can clear amyloid plaques, but have not reversed the debilitating symptoms or the cognitive deficits that wreak havoc on the sufferer’s improving quality of life for seniors .
Since the human skull is much thicker, it might be harder to penetrate with ultrasound waves than those of mice. So, the next step is to test the treatment in larger animals like sheep. This approach was tested as a stand alone, without any drugs.
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